A tremendous honour was bestowed upon Sam Samiee yesterday October 7th at the Amsterdam Royal Palace. King of the Netherlands Willem-Alexander personally presented the Royal Award for Modern Painting to Sam Samiee for his submitted works The Story of Crucifixion (2016) and Crucifixion According to Acts of John (2014).

King Willem-Alexander with the four winners of the Royal Award 2016. Photo Courtesy of Royal Palace Amsterdam

King Willem-Alexander with the four winners of the Royal Award 2016. Photo Courtesy of Royal Palace Amsterdam

The Royal Award is annually presented to encourage talented young painters active in the Netherlands. The Award was instituted in 1871 by HM King William III. After King William III it was continued by Queen Emma, Queen Wilhelmina, Queen Juliana and Queen Beatrix. They turned this into a true royal tradition. In the year 2013 King Willem-Alexander continued this tradition by presenting the Award in the Royal Palace Amsterdam. This year’s jury, consisting of Gijs Frieling, Hans den Hartog Jager, Nanda Janssen, Iris Kensmil, Jan van der Ploeg, Benno Tempel (chair) and Esther Tielemans wrote the following praises about Sam Samiee’s work:
‘In our society as well as in our art symbols play an important role. Samiee questions those symbols in his paintings. Furthermore he provides an alternative for a eurocentric outlook on the world. The Persian literary-humanistic perspective is evoked, not as a replacement, but as an addition to the visual humanism of Dutch art. And thus he firmly takes a stance in the storm of symbols, opinions, identities and memories that confuses our world today. His work shows an artist who is able to question boundaries in a restrained manner. The decorative power that sometimes brushes the edges of kitsch, the themes that alternate from the heavy-going to more lighthearted perspectives, show us an artist who ably manipulates multiple registers.’

The Story of Crucifixion (2016), acrylic on canvas 168 × 250 cm

The Story of Crucifixion (2016), acrylic on canvas
168 × 250 cm

After the award-ceremony the King opened the exhibition of the winning works and a selection of other paintings submitted. The exhibition is open to the public until November 16th, daily from 10AM to 5PM at the Royal Palace.

To see more of Sam Samiee’s work, please keep an eye on the following exhibitions where his work will either be featured or he will act as curator:

8 October – 16 November
Exhibition of the Royal Prize for Modern Painting
Dam Royal Palace in Amsterdam

15 October – 20 November
Doré-hami // دورهمی
No Man’s Art Gallery, Nieuwe Herengracht 121-123, Amsterdam

22 January 2017 – 26 February 2017
Narcisse Tordoir- Sam Salehi Samiee
(re)D. Gallery, Mechelsesteenweg 4, Antwerp

Sam is also looking forward to participate in the upcoming group exhibition The Painted Bird at Marres, Maastricht, curated by Gijs Frieling. We will share more details about this project in due time.

Sam Samiee is under studio management with NMAG. We are very happy that Sam has chosen to collaborate with us so that together we can work with those galleries and institutions that are able to contextualise and promote his brilliant work at the level it deserves. For any inquiries please contact Tessa Giller.